PRESENTER: Ana Norgaard, Upper and Middle School Instrumental Music, Beaver Country Day School
TOPIC: Beaver is committed to developing deeper learning throughout all facets of the student experience. The Cuban Jazz Ensemble course, in collaboration with Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana, Cuba, exemplifies this philosophy. The course, the trip, and the vehicle of music–all gel in an authentic way with real-world application. The experience is transformative, providing students with life-long learning that continues to resonate through the students’ formative years beyond Beaver. Watch the above video to learn about the mindset behind the experience and how to implement similar trips at your institution.
ABOUT THE CUBAN JAZZ ENSEMBLE COURSE: In this course, students will specialize in and learn a variety of Afro-Cuban Jazz Standards. They will explore Cuban culture and history to gain a greater understanding of the evolution of Cuban music and its relationship and impact on North American jazz. An element of this course is a trip that will allow students to immerse themselves in another culture, and work with outside musicians to hone their music skills while making cross-cultural and historical connections. Auditions are open for the following instruments: Bass, Drums, Percussion, Guitar, Piano, Strings, Brass, and Woodwinds. This ensemble performs three formal concerts and at some additional school forums. Weekly individual instrumental lessons are not required but are available on campus to students for an additional fee. Students who are on financial aid at Beaver have the same percentage of aid applied to private lessons.